A True State of the Case of Bosavern Penlez, Who Suffered on Account of the Late Riot in the Strand. In Which the Law Regarding These Offences, and the Statute of George the First, Commonly Called the Riot Act, are Fully Considered

A True State of the Case of Bosavern Penlez, Who Suffered on Account of the Late Riot in the Strand. In Which the Law Regarding These Offences, and the Statute of George the First, Commonly Called the Riot Act, are Fully Considered.

London: A. Millar, 1749.

First edition. [ii], 54 pp. 8vo. Modern quarter calf, cloth boards, uncut. Title creased and soiled, with two small closed tears, affecting one letter, some creasing and soiling to margins, paper flaw at top margin of B1, last leaf soiled and rubbed, affecting text. Cross III, pp. 319-20; Rothschild 852. Provenance: Blackwell's (pencil note); Louis & Anne Marie Davidson (bookplate). Item #308063

First edition of Fielding's defense of the government's controversial decision to hang the young wig maker Bosavern Penlez after his involvement in riots at several London bawdy houses. Fielding, as chief magistrate, was responsible for quelling the riots, and it was his disclosure that Penlez had stolen linens from a brothel (a crime for which he was not convicted) that precluded a pardon and sealed the young man's fate.
There are two 1749 printings, with the second printing not so designated on the title-page. The first printing is identifiable by the press marks 2-4, 16-1, 22-3, 32-4, 39-2 & 44-1 and the readings "Pulton" on p. 5 l. 22 and "Examples" on p. 12 l. 1. In the second printing, signature B and pages C3r, C4r-v, E1v, and E4r were reset, the remainder being printed from standing type.

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